Kids will love creating this idyllic sunset scene from a paper mosaic.
This is a fun art idea for Summer that incorporates blending paint techniques as well as fine motor skills with cutting and pasting the mosaic water and boat silhouette.
There’s something about the sun setting over the water that looks magical. In real life, when I see this, I can hardly look away.
With this printable art project, I have tried to incorporate the glittering fragments of water using mosaics. In the gaps between the paper shards, the red and orange sky is being caught in the water’s reflection. Atop the water is a yacht sailing along the horizon.
It looks so relaxing, I’d like to be on that yacht! But maybe the next most relaxing place might just be at home crafting a paper mosaic of the scene.
It’s super easy to make. The mosaic part is a little fiddly, a bit like arranging a jigsaw puzzle, and it requires some patience. For this reason, I’d recommend this project for older kids (grades 3-6).
I originally painted the sunset blend in liquid watercolours. However, because these paints are not something people commonly have at home, I’ve also included instructions on how to get a similar result using acrylic paint.
How to make a paper mosaic sunset boat scene
You will need:
- The boat template (also available in our TPT store)
- Good quality art paper. Ours is US Letter-sized, but size is flexible. If you choose a larger size it will change the proportion of the size of your boat on the page and you may also need more mosaic pieces.
- Dark blue plus a lighter shade of blue paper. We’ve used card stock but regular construction paper would be fine too.
- Either liquid watercolours or acrylic paints in three warm tones (yellow, red, orange or pink)
- Acrylic paint in white for the clouds
- Either a round sponge brush or cotton balls
- Either sponge brushes or thick paintbrushes
- Glue stick
- Lead pencil and ruler
How to paint the sky using liquid watercolour:
Cover the paper with clear water before painting so it soaks the colours up better.
Paint yellow at the top, orange underneath it and red at the base.
Blend by smoothing the darker colours into the lighter colours, and also by painting with more clear water over the top to smooth the blend.
Allow to dry before dabbing on some white clouds with a cotton ball using acrylic paint.
How to paint the sky using acrylic paint
Paint yellow at the top of your page with a broad brush. Add orange underneath it and red at the base.
Blend by smoothing the darker colours into the lighter colours.
Dab clouds on using a circular sponge brush (or a piece of sponge cut into a circular shape) while the paint is still wet. This will help the white paint blend into the sky colours a little to give the clouds some translucency.
Allow to dry.
Creating the mosaic
Print the boat shapes to a dark blue card stock or paper. You will also need a lighter colour to mix in with the mosaic fragments, but this does not need to be printed.
Cut the boat shapes out.
Cut the strips out, holding a second sheet of lighter paper behind the darker one. Cut the strips into irregular-shaped mosaic fragments.
Rule a line for the horizon, ours is 8cm (3.14”) from the base.
Put glue on a section of the water and arrange mosaic fragments in that section like you’re doing a jigsaw puzzle. You may need to snip some to fit. Keep going with this process until the water is covered in mosaic.
Arrange the shapes so they look like a boat and glue them on.
Glue the bird shapes on.
And here is the version made using acrylic paints.
See? I told you it was easy.
You could easily use the blending technique and apply it to your own silhouette mosaic design too.
More printable paper art templates:
- Make a 3D paper spider in a specific species OR as an abstract doodle pattern with this template
- Use a fun ripple-printing technique to make a water background in this 3D Great White Shark project
- These 3D paper doodle bugs are one of our favourite projects
- We also have an Autumn leaf paper mosaic project kids will love.